China has told India not to block its Huawei Technologies from doing business in the country, warning there could be consequences for Indian firms operating in China, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Two sources privy to internal discussions in New Delhi said India’s ambassador in Beijing, Vikram Misri, was called to the Chinese foreign ministry on July 10 to hear China’s concerns about the U.S. campaign to keep Huawei out of 5G mobile infrastructure worldwide.
During the meeting, Chinese officials said there could be “reverse sanctions” on Indian firms engaged in business in China should India block Huawei because of pressure from Washington, one of the sources said, citing a readout of the ambassador’s meeting.
“Huawei has carried out operations in India for a long time, and has made contributions to the development of Indian society and the economy that is clear to all,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
A potential row over Huawei could revive tensions in the broader India and China relationship just as the two sides have been making high-level efforts to ensure their long standing territorial disputes do not escalate.
A high-level group of officials, led by the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Indian government Dr. K Vijay Raghavan and including representatives from the departments of telecoms, information technology and the intelligence services, has been looking into whether to open the 5G trials to Huawei.
The committee has found no evidence to suggest Huawei has used “back-door” programmes or malware to collect data in its current operations in India, the first source and another official in the federal telecoms ministry said.